Wenger deeply worried that Fabregas saga could derail Arsenal’s season. Head and sand springs to mind.

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What, did I read that right? Are you kidding me Arsene? This could have been sorted out in May. Something like this…

Barcelona – How much for Fabregas? 

Arsenal – £40mil cash, no add ons, no swaps and no part exchanges, £40mil

Barcelona – We’ll give you £27mil

Arsenal – Grow up, £40mil by July 1st or don’t bother come back ever again. End of story. Any longer and it will destabilise the team, pre-season and the player, not to mention it will hack off millions of fans, and frankly Barca, without them, we’d be in the conference league.

Whatever that very, very old, half witted, bloated, butt smoking daddies boy says. Stan do yourself a favour, kick him out or shove him in the attic and feed him fish heads for the rest of his miserable life, he really is that embarrassing relative that messes his pants at a party but won’t go home because he won’t admit he smells.

Once again we have had all summer to buy what we need and once again this club has failed spectacularly, Wenger already has his excuses lined up just like the rubber ducks he pays so much money to, and we can’t get them off the books, again, smart management. But no one ever says a word!

If you like me have watched pre-season, you can see we haven’t missed cesc and that killer pass, because when Cesc plays, we play tippy tappy football.

What we have missed since the invincibles is a credible defence, Squillaci, Koscielny and Djourou aren’t it I’m afraid, I have inside information that says the whole staff know it too, but Wenger’s ego won’t allow him to admit he’s cocked up royally, so we all have to suffer, please don’t think stubborn and massive ego are the same thing.

What happened to the days of sacking under performing managers, ask Terry Neil, Don Howe and Bruce Rioch!

It’s great having Gervinho, but we only got him because Chamakh is so bad, Bendtner is also poor but that’s because he is played out of position, either way we have had to suffer him for years because Wenger said he would come good, now he realises he won’t, he quietly disses him. Oh and remember when he used to quote Denilson’s Opta stats???

We are all so fed up, we applaud Gervinho arriving instead of questioning why we suffered Bendtner for so long, now we are going through the same thing with Chamakh.

I can see no difference between this season and last, we play the same way and defend as bad, we don’t miss Cesc, we miss Adams, Keown and Campbell, that’s what we miss. There are scores of top stoppers out there and we get 3 that can’t stop, smart move for a top manager that.

I can never understand the logic in selling a top player, then looking for a replacement, then using the excuse, ‘they know we have a lot of money so we can’t buy anyone, I won’t pay inflated prices’

We should buy Mata or whoever we like and let Cesc know we don’t give a rats arse about his feelings, this is Arsenal football club, not Arsene’s nursery and ex player roadshow, Sunday’s debacle showed us that.

Yes I know TH14 was a legend, but you know what? He left us for riches elsewhere, he now plays for Red Bull New York and getting 5 minutes for us is all about him and it should be all about us. And like everything else this club does, Wenger said he pleaded with the ref at half time, how long have we known about this fixture? If he wanted that he should have stipulated it last year, when the fixture came out.

I have said before, Cesc will be a crock, I have said before get a replacement in before we decide on him, I have said before we need 2 world class centre backs and we will need 4 throughout a season, TV5 and Bartley will make up the four, and I have said before that Bendtner, Almunia, Denilson, Squillaci and Eboue are not good enough, all are still here and the season starts next week, no wonder we have no money.

But Eboue makes everyone laugh, well so does a plastic turd at a party but you wouldn’t pay that £60k a week and give it an 8 year contract and image rights would you? Hmmmm but I know someone that might!

Denilson by the way says he’ll be back next year, as we are kindly letting him have a year off so he can be near his 3 year old daughter, generous that, never mind Arsenal’s needs, I also bet we are paying his massive salary too.

So a quick report on progress so far boss, we sell Clichy and replace him with one of two players that aren’t as good. We buy in a right back for the future and three 16 year olds, we buy in Gervinho (who does look good) and we are begging Cesc and Nasri to stay, but at what cost, oh and we are trying to sell 4 more.

Oh and I didn’t even bother mentioning the youth players let go or sold.

Me? I’d keep Nasri, but only if he signed a new contract, otherwise I would sell him to the highest bidder, if it were to City I would ask for Richards and De Jong in return or I would sell him for less elsewhere.

Cesc would go to the highest bidder, I’m afraid he has blotted his copybook once to often for me, I also believe he is now a crock, and who’s fault is that? Playing a kid at 16 in a mans team will do that everytime, there aren’t too many young kids that make it through a career, look at Michael Owen.

Jury is out on Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere and Theo, time will tell.

Have a great day Grovers, the weekend is looming and we have our last pre-season coming up.

P.S. Make sure you follow the Le Grove Twitter account today as Pedro will be reporting all the news as it happens!

Fantasy Football…

That time of year has arrived again where we pedal a bit of Fantasy football! We have a £100 prize for the winner, which basically feels like I’m gifting myself and Geoff £50. The league comes with an app for your phone and it’s all very sophisticated! If you fancy your chances…

1. sign up the Metro Fantasy League HERE

2. The Join the below league, using the below pin!

League Name: Le Grove

League Pin: 4450

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We won the survey! | Cesc stifled by Barca… for now | Jags and Cahill rumours

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So I broke the news yesterday that the club fully expect Cesc to be at open day this Thursday, providing Barcelona stick to their guns in not offering the £40million Arsenal are expecting for him.

Poor old Cesc, he’s been hung out to dry by the club of his dreams.

This isn’t cause for celebration though… From what I understand, Cesc is making no secret of his upset about the situation, but at least he’s given up on his ‘injury’ and rejoined the group. He’s in no shape to play though… Hopefully Barcelona will offer up the money we need sharpish, so we can move him on and buy in a replacement. It’ll be a waste of £140k a week if we keep him here next year, but don’t be surprised if he lines up for us in August. We don’t need to sell him on the cheap.

Samir Nasri has been good as gold apparently… Just coming in and working hard, so even if we do get just one more year out of him, at least it won’t be a sulky one.

I asked around about Jagielka and Cahill, all I can say is that we’ve been looking at both but there’s been no movement at the training ground and none of the players are aware of a deal in the offing. That doesn’t mean a one isn’t being thrashed out by Dick Laws as we speak…

So all in all… Not much to report except the continuation of a bad summer.

Arsene and the backroom staff have gone stale if this is what they call progress… Ivan Gazidis has very publicly put pressure on Wenger this summer by offering up the money he needs. If he doesn’t spend it and it goes tits up next season at least the next coach will have the funds to play with.

One thing I do find interesting is that Nik B is on the exit list over Chamakh. He’s been awful this summer and has shown no signs off picking up from the 3 months if good form he displayed last year. From what I’ve heard, the Moroccan enjoys himself in his private life, I wonder if that’s reflected in his football and the fatigue he suffers? Nik B is also one for a party, but at least he can last a season without complaining about how tired he is. Still no move for him, that £52k a week he’s earning seems to be a bit of a sticking point for the paupers of Europe.


To Tony Roberts for taking up a full-time post as goalkeeping coach at Arsenal. He’s credited with the progression of Chezzer at the club and he’ll be a welcome addition considering the problems we’ve clearly had in the keeping area.

Season ticket prices…

Yesterday, the BBC released the results of their survey, of which Arsenal topped their table as the most expensive day out in the Premiership. Our pies top out at a staggering £4 a pop and the cheapest day out an Arsenal fan can expect is £44. £1200 sounds like a pretty modest outlay compared to the sort of money Geoff, myself and the people we go with spend out over the course of a season, but it’s still the richest ticket in the Premiership. That’s why I find it staggering Peter Hill-Wood can come out and say that Arsenal didn’t profit from the VAT increase when he should full well know tickets went up by 6.5% this season. If you’re into listening and stuff, I did a piece for BBC London last night about season ticket prices, it’s about about 30 minutes in. The Professor on before me was quite interesting as well, but nowhere near as educated as me… so sorry about that.

Fantasy Football…

That time of year has arrived again where we pedal a bit of Fantasy football! We have a £100 prize for the winner, which basically feels like I’m gifting myself and Geoff £50. The league comes with an app for your phone and it’s all very sophisticated! If you fancy your chances…

1. sign up the Metro Fantasy League HERE

2. The Join the below league, using the below pin!

League Name: Le Grove

League Pin: 4450

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Barton on a free | Mata for a massive fee | Cahill and Jags in?

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So a few little snippets in the news from yesterday to report on. Firstly, the shock announcement that Joey Barton had been sacked by Newcastle for his comments made on twitter. They’ve severed his contract. Rumour has it, Kenny Dalglish has launched a £15.6million bid, so I’m not sure how far our contract offer will go. That’s if we make an offer.

The way  see it, he’s a very good player, his game for me is quite similar to Ray Parlour’s. He can pass the ball, he can score the occasional goal and he has a match winning edge about him. How many times has Alex Song inspired us to a 4 goal come back? Sometimes heart can win you a game. As far as I’m aware, he hasn’t beaten up anyone on the street lately, I’m pretty sure he’s kicked his cigar habit and if you’ve got a problem with him digging (Pederson) a player in a game, I’d suggest you man up.

Fact is, we’ve taken a punt on a player called Bischoff for £25k a week before and he was a disaster. We also paid £500k for Silvestre, who was on the Interpol wanted list for crimes against Football. What’s the worst that could happen eh? We could have a 1 strike policy built into his contract. I’m sure that at the right club he could behave. Tony Adams never drunk drove again after he was incarcerated and we have a history of converting bad boys into fine upstanding citizens (Robin, Overmars, Hleb, Parlour all came with bad reputations).

We’ve all played football with wonky characters. Does it bother you? It doesn’t me… fact is, I’m sharing a team with someone, not a bubble bath. If they can do a job, show mental spirit on the pitch, then why not take a small, low cost risk?

It doesn’t Mata…

So it turns out that Mata had some weird clause in his contract that said if he wasn’t sold by July 31st, he couldn’t leave Valencia for whatever his buyout clause was. That now means that if we want him, we’ll have to pay out a proper fee. Will we do that? Well, I guess that will depend on whether we flog Cesc. If we move him on for £35million, then £28million isn’t an issue, you just ask Barca to paypal the money over to them Valencia. We get a good player in and save on admin fees. Marvo.

If we don’t get him because we dragged our feet again, that really will be disappointing. This is the summer of missing out, it’s getting beyond a joke. I’m not too upset about the collapse mainly because I’m not sure there’s been a collapse yet. I know categorically that we’ve been looking at him, it’s just beyond reasoning that we wouldn’t have known about this clause… but then again, it was beyond reasoning that we wouldn’t fork out an extra £2million for Schwarzer last season.

Arsenal move in mysterious ways…

Peter Hill-Wood

Someone let him out of his oversized cage again and they let him loose on the company Blackberry, clearly sozzled, he ranted off about the Arsenal fans for jeering Arsene Wenger and his team of Emirates Cup flops. He said…

‘As Arsene said, we are looking to buy some players but we are not going to do our business in public. They are going to have to be bloody patient – as we are.’

Well Peter, our patience has been tested over the past 3 summers and it didn’t get us anywhere. Your CEO claimed it’d be a busy summer, he didn’t explain it would be a busy summer of being out bid for every player we go for and a busy summer of having our best players showing a severe lack of committment. The whole line about other clubs not winning a trophy is nonsense as well. We’re not any ‘other’, I noticed that when comparing the cost of my season ticket to friends who support other teams.

If you don’t want to feel the burn of fan expectation, don’t fire it up just before we buy our season tickets and don’t charge us the highest prices in the world. Then we’ll happily sit their like fans of ‘other’ clubs enjoying our reasonably priced Saturday afternoon and an occasional giant killing.

‘People don’t seem to realise that VAT went up so we weren’t trying to make any money out of it.’

Are you kidding me? You try and make money out of seat plaques and you’ve pretty much monetised every aspect of the Arsenal experience. The only reason you didn’t hit us with the VAT straight away is because the price of our tickets were about 50% more expensive than everyone elses from the start. I guess he’s never bought a ticket though, right?

Cahill and Jagielka

The Online Gooner are reporting Jagielka and Cahill are on their way this week. They’ve checked their sources and they’re confident it’ll happen. Now, I’ve met one of the Editor’s and he’s a thoroughly un-bullshitty character… if they think they’ve got a story, it’s because they’ve checked it out. They don’t need hits and they’re older than 17… so they don’t need the attention.

Do I think it’ll happen? I’m not so sure. That’s a massive move. It makes far too much sense for it to happen. We’d have to shift someone out of defence and I can’t see that happening. I think we’ll land one of them, if preseason has proved anything, it’s that two weeks on the Costa Del Sol Campbell does not turn you into the great man. We need major defensive surgery and we need to admit that Squillaci has be 12 month disaster from start to finish.

I’m game for the transfer, but knowing the ups and downs of the transfer merry go round… I’d be very surprised.

Still… I like surprises. Just not the Silvestre shaped ones.

That’s your lot for today. See you in the comments!

Fantasy Football…

That time of year has arrived again where we peddle a bit of Fantasy football! We have a £100 prize for the winner, which basically feels like I’m gifting myself and Geoff £50. The league comes with an app for your phone and it’s all very sophisticated! If you fancy your chances…

1. sign up the Metro Fantasy League HERE

2. The Join the below league, using the below pin!

League Name: Le Grove

League Pin: 4450

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LeGrove’ show_count=’yes’]

Follow us on Facebook, subscribe to our daily e-mail or catch us onGoogle+!